TERANG driver Brad Warren is already looking forward to next year’s Lucas Oil Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic after deciding to sit out this week’s historic first three-night event.
Racing on a shoestring budget, Warren opted to miss the Classic in favour of racing against his idol — the sport’s king, American Steve Kinser — in Sydney last weekend.
But his dream turned into a nightmare when a rival accidentally hit a bollard in hot laps and debris shot into his engine, knocking the sump out of his oil tank.
His campaign was over after just two warm-up laps. It also prematurely ended his season. With Warren and partner Jessie expecting their first child in seven weeks, their budget won’t stretch to this weekend.
“The plan was to take it easy this season and then look forward to next year,” he said.
Warren said he wasn’t prepared financially or race-ready for a tilt at the Classic, which opens at Allansford’s Premier Speedway on Friday night.
“Steve Kinser was at Sydney and seeing he is calling it quits this year the likelihood of him coming back to Australia is pretty slim. Rather than go to the Classic we thought we would take a chance to go to Sydney and race against the best World of Outlaws driver ever.”
The closest he got to Kinser was being drawn in his group for time trials, which he never got to tackle.
Warren said he had contested two previous meetings this season, meaning he was under-done for a Classic campaign.
“The Classic is such a big race, it is the race for sure, but it takes a lot of money. I’ve only done two races. We would have done four if I had done the two in Sydney but to me it’s not enough to justify entering the Classic.
“There’s always next year.”
Warren said he had leased an engine for this season and he wanted to ensure he had not damaged the motor in the incident after oil splashed up the side of his car.
“I’m 200 per cent sure I haven’t hurt the engine. I rolled to a stop within five metres and the oil came out there.”
Warren said Sydney winner, former Classic champ Trevor Green, drove a calculated race.
“He’s probably in career best form,” he said.
Warren said Green was a big chance to claim a second Classic on Sunday, 17 years after his emotional victory which coincidentally came on the third day of the rain-affected 1997 event.